Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #15

Hosted by Pen To Paper
Running from her traitorous best friend and her estranged father, graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Urchin, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld. Urchin opens Beth’s eyes to the city she’s never truly seen-where vast spiders crawl telephone wires seeking voices to steal, railwraiths escape their tethers, and statues conceal an ancient priesthood robed in bronze.

But it all teeters on the brink of destruction. Amid rumors that Urchin’s goddess mother will soon return from her 15-year exile, Reach, a malign god of urban decay, wants the young prince dead. Helping Urchin raise an alleyway army to reclaim his skyscraper throne, Beth soon forgets her old life. But when her best friend is captured, Beth must choose between this wondrous existence and the life she left behind.
One of the perils of having a gargantuan to-read list is that gems like this book are quickly forgotten. I had no idea this book even existed until I was scrolling through my list and the title managed to catch my eye.

Try to ignore the cover (I hate it) and focus instead on the description. First of all, runaway graffiti artists are always fun. They're edgy in a petty-crime sort of way. And while I sneer slightly at the name Urchin, I'm a sucker for cocky princes. I'm not exactly sure what this "mystical underworld" thing is all about, and I hope Pollock can pull it all off. Spiders that steal VOICES? Railwraiths? Creepy statues? Yes please! Only the "goddess mother" and the "god of urban decay" make me pause.

With all these different components at work, this book could either be really lame or really cool. And really, isn't that an exciting prospect?

What are YOU wishing for this Wednesday?

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top 10 Tuesday: I Am No MAN!

Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Time for another Top Ten list! This week's list theme is "Top 10 Kick-Butt Heroines," or, as I've dubbed it, the "I am no MAN!" list in honor of Eowyn of Lord of the Rings. For me, Eowyn is the honorary godmother of this list, because her scene gives me the happy goosebumps every single time. However, those goosebumps usually come from the movie, not the book, which is why she's presiding rather than participating.

Here are my choices in order from least surprising to (I believe) most surprising:

10. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games series). I have no doubt that Katniss will grace 99.99% of the lists this week. She's what most people think of when they think of a girl who kicks rear and takes names. The stuff Suzanne Collins put her through is horrific, yet she always manages to come out on top, if somewhat damaged. And there's just something intrinsically awesome about a girl with a crossbow.

9. Katsa (Graceling Realm series). While Katniss no doubt reigns supreme, I'll bet Katsa makes her fair share of appearances as well. Graced with the ability to survive, Katsa can climb a snow-covered mountain in bare feet, kill a man with her hands alone, and start a fire in a rainstorm. She is the girl you want by your side on a desert island or in case of a zombie apocalypse.

8. Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass). As a professional assassin, Celaena gets automatic entry onto this list. She can scale walls, shoot a bow with deadly aim, ferret out fellow assassins, and so forth, but unlike the previous two entries, Celaena is proud of the fact that she's female and uses ALL of her assets. I love a girl who can be feminine and tough simultaneously.

7. Ismae (Grave Mercy). Another professional assassin, Ismae is no one to trifle with. Not only does she sport fierce weapons such as a portable crossbow and the wicked misericorde, she's also adept with (and immune to) poisons of various sorts. Chica is fierce!

6. Beka Cooper (The Provost's Dog series). Beka is a Dog, a sort of police enforcer but with fewer honor codes and more bare-knuckle brawls. She has friends on both sides of the law, has a magical talking cat, can gather snippets of gossip from roving dust clouds, and can talk to the dead through pigeons. Best of all, she's quick on her feet. Few people can say they've ever gotten the best of Beka Cooper.

5. Cammie Morgan (The Gallagher Girls series). Cammie shouldn't be a surprising choice (hello, spy!), but I think people often forget about the lighter Gallagher Girls series when composing such lists. Still, the books have gotten progressively darker, and after the last book, I certainly wouldn't want to be on any other team but Cammie's.

4. Irene, Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief series). Irene is one stone-cold lady. Raised as a forgotten shadow princess, she poisoned her first husband and took control of her father's country. To keep her opportunistic barons in place, she ruled with an iron fist, invoking fear at the mere mention of her name. Draconian punishments are not beneath her if they serve her purpose, and she is ruthlessly cunning. She changes over the course of the series, but I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of even the softer Irene.

3. Princess Elisa (Fire and Thorns series). With too many pounds and too little self-esteem, the bookish Princess Elisa doesn't start out as a very worthy opponent. But as the stories progress, she transforms from a mousish princess to the devilish Maleficio, to the whip-smart and daring queen of a nation at war.

2. "Verity" (Code Name Verity). As a prisoner of the Gestapo during WWII, Verity doesn't get to do a whole lot of fighting. Mostly, she simply tells her story. It's only once we reach the climax that we learn what a scary opponent - and an excellent spy - she is.

1. Seraphina (Seraphina). Seraphina isn't one for weapons. She isn't a warrior or a ruler. She's a musician. We don't see her dueling with swords or shooting crossbows or busting someone's jaw with a right hook. Nevertheless, Seraphina is one of the most impressive characters I've read because she's clever. That's what she has in common with every other entry on this list. The merely brutish need not apply here. Only those with brains can be considered truly kick-butt, as Seraphina demonstrates.

So that's my list. Agree? Disagree? Who would YOU add?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Confession + A Few Exceptions

Not me.
Confession: Books don't normally scare me. They just don't. The written word can provoke many different emotions in me (anger, love, joy, triumph, annoyance, etc.), but fear just isn't one of them. So when I see different posts about "scary" books, I just can't make it compute on a personal level. [It should be noted that this confession does not include books where I fear for the characters on account of the author's reckless willingness to slaughter her darlings for the good of the story. I'm talking about being generally scared.]

Take, for instance, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. It's a frequent resident of the "scary shelf" lists, which makes sense. After all, it's about a horror story about a ghost that murders people in various gruesome ways. Spooky! I can believe that it frightened some people, but at most I felt squeamishness at the gorier scenes. I wasn't ever afraid.

I despaired over writing this post, because how can I write about Halloween without writing about scary books?

And then I remembered The Tombs of Anak by Frank Peretti. Great heavens, my insides quiver just writing that title.
When Jay and Lila Cooper enter the cave-tombs of Anak with their archaeologist father, they hope to find a co-worker who has unaccountably disappeared. Instead, they stumble onto a frightening religion and new mysteries that soon put them all in incredible danger.

Who or what is Ha-Raphah? How does he hold the local villagers in such overwhelming fear?

Knowing they can't avoid confronting this villain--whatever he is--the Coopers desperately search for answers. As they begin to unravel the mystery, Jay, Lila, and their father face even more perilous adventures. Will they understand the truth in time to avoid disaster, or will they be swept away in a last desperate attempt by Ha-Raphah to preserve his evil powers?

A spine-tingling thriller as current as today's newscasts yet as timeless as the age-old struggle between good and evil.
Doesn't sound like much, right? I assure you, as an eight-year-old child alone in my bedroom, this book was the scariest thing I had ever read. There's a crazy, peg-legged man who spouts dire warnings, a forbidden crypt, and a monster. I think I could have dealt with those three if it hadn't been for the dismemberment and the most frightening chase scene IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!! (So says my eight-year-old self.)

Below are a few more titles that managed to make me jump.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review: FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS by Diana Peterfreund

It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen's "Persuasion," "For Darkness Shows the Stars" is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.
When I told my mom I was reviewing a YA sci-fi/dystopian retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, she was not impressed. Actually, I'd put her a bit closer to horrified. She couldn't understand why anyone would muddy such a beautiful classic with all that sci-fi/dystopian stuff.

Truth be told, I wasn't sure how well I would like FDStS either. Persuasion, with all of its romantic tension and love deferred, is a classic for a reason. Messing with it via a sci-fi retelling is one thing? But using a dystopian/post-apocalyptic bent? Meh.

But then I met Elliot and Kai.

Friday, October 26, 2012

YA Mythology Giveaway Hop

That's right, ladies and gents, it's time for another giveaway! Even better, this giveaway hop is devoted YA books based in mythology. Golly jeepers, I love mythology. Since this theme is such a big deal to me, I'm going to give away TWO prizes, one for each lucky winner.

Prize #1:

My ARC copy of Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama - this prize is USA/CAN only
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
Here's the thing. I am really not a mermaid book person. I've tried and I've tried, but I just can't do it. Monstrous Beauty, however, is the one mermaid book that really set me back on my heels. You can read my entire review here, but the short version is that this book is dark and squicky and gorgeously written. With Ms. Fama's blessing, I'm giving away my ARC in hopes that it will lure in another fan.

Prize #2:

One book from The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner (there are four to choose from but MUST be read in order) - this prize is INTERNATIONAL to anywhere TBD ships

C'mon, guys. An entire hop about mythology and you don't expect me to offer up my favorite series OF ALL TIME, one that just happens to sport an impressive set of mythological gods and goddesses? Please. I reviewed the first book, The Thief, here, and wrote a love letter to MWT here. I'm not going to link to the rest of the books, because there are major spoilers involved if you haven't read the first book.

So here's how it will work. The first winner will pick their choice of Prize #1 or Prize #2. The second winner will then receive whichever choice that remains.


Now for the nitty-gritty. You do NOT have to be a follower to enter this giveaway! However, you WILL earn more entries by becoming a follower, so I strongly suggest it. :) Here are the other details:

- Pay extra special attention to where the prizes can be sent. MB is USA/CAN only; the Thief series book is INTERNATIONAL.
- You must be 13 years old or older.
- Only one IP address per entry. I'm sorry if you and your flatmate both want to enter, but this is my way to weed out cheaters.
- The chosen winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email with their mailing addresses.
- If said winners does not respond in the time specified, new winners will be chosen.

Enter using the Rafflecopter below and then use this link to keep hopping.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, there's no way to get points for commenting, but you know I love your faces dearly, so please feel free to say hello. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cover Love #14

May I just say that I LOVE international covers? I love seeing the way each country interprets a story that I enjoy in a fresh way. A long, long time ago (May) I showed you all different versions of Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me. (You can read that post here, and let me just say the Swedes knocked it out of the park.)

This week, I'd like to show you more international covers, this time of one of my all-time favorite fantasy books, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

Now, I'm afraid I'm not nearly ambitious enough to hunt down all the covers myself. Another blog, Pitch Dark, found a whole bunch and did their own rating. What I'm doing here is simply reposting the covers and giving my own take, so I take no credit for wrangling together the covers whatsoever. Once you've finished reading, please take the time to read the original post. It's pretty rad.

First, the US cover:
This is the one most of us are familiar with. This is also the one that most people seem to love. I am not one of them. It's certainly not a bad cover, but I admit that it just didn't grab me, which is why I delayed so long in reading it.

Then there's the US ARC cover (what they used before settling on the cover above):
Not awful. The whole swirling hair, pretty dress thing is awfully boring, and Elisa is too model-like, but I love the blues and the desert background. Then again, the orange of the finished product better connotes the "fire" of "fire and thorns," don't you think?

Next up, the UK cover:
I think... I think I like this one. The font isn't bad, the desert is there, and Elisa looks wicked awesome. THAT'S our Maleficio! You go, girl. (Side note: Does anyone know why the Brits shortened the title to just Fire and Thorns?)

Now we jump across the Channel to France to see what they've cooked up:
*cough* Well, impending wardrobe malfunction aside (seriously, who can fight in that?!), this is a pretty cool cover. Elisa looks all mysterious with her shimmery hood and bedazzled bottoms, AND she has a sword. What I think I like best, though, is that this cover has the clearest depiction of the Godstone. It really is a part of her, rather than a floaty blue stone like in the US cover. And for those curious, Google Translate says the cover translates to The Girl of Embers and Brambles. Hmm.

Let's see if the Italians can best their Gallic neighbors:
Well, this is... interesting. The cover certainly screams fantasy (what a sword!), but I'm not fond of the way they depict Elisa. Also, The Fire and The Rose? Huh? That makes it sound like a romance novel. I suppose Elisa, as the female, is supposed to be the rose, so who is the fire? Humberto? Alejandro? Her alter-ego, Maleficio? Okay, that last one would be pretty cool.

Now it's Germany's turn to show off their cover:
Oooh, pretty. I love the fiery Godstone hanging front and center. According to Google, the title translates to either The Flint or The Fire Stone. I'm betting on the latter. I love that this cover marries the blues of the US ARC with the need for fire. Sadly, the Germans receive negative points for the cheesy tagline: A magical journey begins. Ugh.

And last, but certainly not least, the Turkish cover:
If I didn't know the story, I might like the cover. Sure, it's a pretty girl in a dress, but the cover's pretty atmospheric. However, since I do know the story, this cover only makes me frown. How does this represent TGoF&T at all? That's a skinny, white redhead in a pretty dress. There's no Elisa, no Godstone, no desert. Like the Brits, the Turks have shortened the title to Fire and Thorn. Why "thorn" is singular, I don't know. (I can't read the tagline. Would anyone with better eyes volunteer?)

I think, for me, the Germans win. Can't you just picture it on my shelf next to a copy of Seraphina? Never mind that it wouldn't be alphabetical. I would BEND THE RULES.

Which cover do you like best?

To join Cover Love:

1. Follow Bookshelvers Anonymous as the host of the meme (my work, so I get credit. No stealing).
2. Find a cover that just makes you go wild with designer delight.
3. Highlight said cover in a Thursday post. Here and here are my two previous Cover Love posts for reference.
4. Link back to Bookshelvers Anonymous somewhere in your post (when I do other blogs' memes, I put the meme button at the top of the page and then link in the button's caption).
5. Consider adding the meme button somewhere on your blog so others can join also. This step isn't required, but it'd be awfully nice. The HTML for the button is in my right sidebar, and I can help you through the adding process if you'd like.
6. Add your blog to the linky list at the bottom of this post - it makes it easier for all of us to find each other AND it's a great way to generate traffic for your blog.
Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ginormo Blogger Love Post

Hee-hee. I thought about putting a "real" title in place of the placeholder title I gave this post, but I liked this one too much. I'd planned to air this post on Friday to tie it into the #FF hashtag, but I couldn't wait. For those who don't know, #FF is a hashtag for Follow Friday, and it's a way for people to promote their favorite people on Twitter.

I don't know how well the hashtag actually works, to be honest, and I'd much rather promote the blogs of the people I follow. I have had the fortune of coming across some spectacular blogs in the last couple years. I mean, really freaking spectacular, and they're all run by funny, kind, opinionated, smart, knowledgeable people.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Review: TEN by Gretchen McNeil

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?
So maybe it wasn't the best idea to plow through the climax of this book at midnight. I strongly recommend not doing that... unless, you know, heart palpitations are your thing.

I've written about this book in my Wishlist Wednesday meme and even joined Gretchen McNeil's Army of Ten. You can read all my reasons for being excited about this book in those posts. To sum up: Agatha Christie = awesome. Her book And Then There Were None = Head Honcho of Awesomeness. Therefore, a YA thriller loosely based off aforementioned Head Honcho book is going to be AMAAAAAZING!

At least, that was my theory. But as I promised in my Army of Ten post, I will review Ms. McNeil's work as objectively as possible, so here it goes.

Friday, October 19, 2012

BOOKS - Next Stop, Adventure!

Click to enlarge
I love saving book-related comics that I come across throughout the week. This one, from Adam @ Home, is especially fun because it points out a truth that all avid readers acknowledge. Books can take you to some fantastic places.

Sometimes the place in question is as wild and foreign as another world or outer space. Sometimes it's a place as off-kilter yet familiar as a normal world fraught with paranormal creatures or an alternate reality. And sometimes it's the uncomfortable space inside another person's skull.

The best places are the ones that feel real. That doesn't mean that the best places are automatically based off of real places, such as a high school or Paris. Actually, those places sometimes veer sharply into flat and vague, merely used as cardboard backdrops for the plot and its characters. But you know you've come across a really great setting when you find yourself thinking or saying things like "Man, I'd love to visit there" or "This is great! I wish it were real!" or making jokes about hopping into an IKEA wardrobe to find it.

... No? Just me?

Here are some places that I'd add to my travel bucket list.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #14

Totally the property of Pen To Paper.
Happy Wednesday, my lovelies! Between the Top 10 Tuesday lists I've visited, my RSS feed, and Twitter, my to-read list has bloated more than a foodie at Thanksgiving. I have so many books to choose from this week.

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask. 

It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin. 

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help. 

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey. 

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.
I'm not a big fan of fey stories (I haven't read one before, actually), but a retelling of Jane Eyre will always get my immediate attention. Add a bit of Man in the Iron Mask, sprinkle in some steampunk (I just read Westerfield's Leviathan and loved it), and finish with an Ugly Duckling twist, and voila!

Ironskin has actually been out for a week or two now, so I'd like to know... Who's read it? Who's planning to read it? And what are you wishing for this Wednesday?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review: SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
I'd like to thank every reviewer, blogger, and Twitterer who pushed this book. I wasn't planning on reading Seraphina (the cover didn't grab me, and I'm really over dragons), but everyone kept talking about it. I caved and picked up a copy from the library.

Holy guacamole, THANK YOU ALL!

For forty years, the human and dragon kingdoms have protected a fragile peace. Dragons, clothed in human form, live amongst the Goreddi and enrich its people with their knowledge of science, history, and mathematics. They also refrain from hoarding, plundering, marauding, and creating general mayhem, as outlined by the treaty constructed by the Goreddi Queen Lavonda and the dragon Ardmagar Comonot, "Ardmagar" being a dragon term that roughly means "supreme general." The humans, for their part, tolerate the dragons.

At least, they do until their beloved Prince Rufus is found decapitated in a field - a death that most assume was the work of a dragon.

Friday, October 12, 2012

What Type of Reader Are You?

oil painting
What type of reader are you?

Oh, you don't know what I'm talking about? A few months ago, The Atlantic Wire did a two-part article about the different types of readers there are in the world. Of course, it's all in fun with descriptions drawn with a wink and a nudge, but I enjoyed identifying different friends and fellow Tweeters and bloggers.

Take a look at both parts and then come back here to see what I think I am.

What Type of Book Reader Are You? part one

What Type of Book Reader Are You? part two

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cover Love #13

This week, I'm featuring a book that's been out for almost two years now. I haven't been able to read it yet, though I should make it a higher priority, seeing as the author wrote one of my favorite fairy tale retellings EVER.

Click to enlarge
Because she was a princess, she had a pegasus....

Princess Sylviianel has always known that on her twelfth birthday she too would be bound to her own pegasus. All members of the royal family have been thus bound since the Alliance was made almost a thousand years ago; the binding system was created to strengthen the Alliance, because humans and pegasi can only communicate formally, through specially trained Speaker magicians. Sylvi is accustomed to seeing pegasi every day at the palac, but she still finds the idea of her binding very daunting. The official phrase is that your pegasus is your "Excellent Friend." But how can you be friends with someone you can't talk to?

But everything is different for Sylvi and Ebon from the moment they meet at her binding - when they discover they can talk to each other. They form so close a bond that it becomes a threat to the status quo - and possibly to the future safety of their two nations. For some of the magicians believe there is a reason humans and pegasi should not fully understand each other...
Eep! I have to admit, I never went through the "I want a pony" phase that girls supposedly go through, but I'd be all over having a pet Pegasus. I mean, it's a super-intelligent horse that flies. Pegasi are right up there with griffins on my "Undervalued Mythical Creatures" list. Sure, I get the appeal of dragons, but aren't they a bit overdone as pets? TALKING, FLYING HORSES are where it's at.

I nearly used this book for a Wishlist Wednesday post, but then I got an eyeful of that cover. Man.

There's not a lot to be analyzed. It's just freaking pretty. The setting is expansive and saturated perfectly (not too bright, not too faded). There's a girl with a pretty dress and flowing hair, but she isn't vamping it up front and center like girls in pretty dresses usually do. In fact, her back is to us and her attention is caught on the gorgeous Pegasus whirling above her head. Can I just say that I love that it's a black Pegasus instead of a frilly white one? And in the center of it all is the title in a deep red, swirly font that sends thrills through me. Sooooo preeeeeeetty.

What cover do you love this week?

To join Cover Love:

1. Follow Bookshelvers Anonymous as the host of the meme (my work, so I get credit. No stealing).
2. Find a cover that just makes you go wild with designer delight.
3. Highlight said cover in a Thursday post. Here and here are my two previous Cover Love posts for reference.
4. Link back to Bookshelvers Anonymous somewhere in your post (when I do other blogs' memes, I put the meme button at the top of the page and then link in the button's caption).
5. Consider adding the meme button somewhere on your blog so others can join also. This step isn't required, but it'd be awfully nice. The HTML for the button is in my right sidebar, and I can help you through the adding process if you'd like.
6. Add your blog to the linky list at the bottom of this post - it makes it easier for all of us to find each other AND it's a great way to generate traffic for your blog.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Top 10 Tuesday: REWIND - Top Ten Bookish People I Want To Meet

Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Yay! Time for another list. I love lists. They make me happy. Even better, this week is a "rewind" choice, meaning I get to pick one out of ANY of the topics they've done so far. The choices were staggering, but in the end I picked a recent list, the one that first turned me onto the Top 10 Tuesday meme.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish People I Want To Meet (authors, bloggers, etc.)

Here, in no particular order, are my picks:

Taken from her website.
10. Rae Carson. Her books are freaking phenomenal. The world-building is ridiculous, the fantasy aspects are spot-on, and don't even get me started on those characters. HECTOR!!! She wrote Hector! I like to think that we'd meet in a nice little cafe and sample chocolates while talking about her books. Hey, I can dream. (Read my reviews of her books, The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Crown of Embers.)

Deceptively diabolical.
9. Elizabeth Fama. Like I wouldn't jump at the chance to meet the mind that came up with super-creepy Monstrous Beauty. That is one seriously messed up book. I think she'd be fun to meet! Also, MB is the first and only mermaid book that I've read thus far that's been able to keep my attention to the very end. I'd love to sit and talk history... and other creepy things.

I'm sorry, you all will have to go on without me. I just need to stop and stare.
8. Tim Tebow. What? He wrote a memoir! He counts!

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a photo of Mama Mafi.
7. Tahereh Mafi (and her mother). Tahereh Mafi is the author of Shatter Me (and its soon-to-be-released sequel), and she's freaking hysterical. I mean, seriously, read her Twitter feed. Why has no one made a sitcom off of this woman yet? But her mother has to come, too, as she makes up 75% of the best stories from said Twitter feed.

Taken from her website

6. Patricia Polacco. I love Patricia Polacco. She wrote Babushka Baba Yaga and Chicken Sunday. I don't need to meet her for long. I'd just like to hug her and thank her for an awesome childhood.

Taken from her website.
5. Ems. Because I like her! Ems runs the blog Ems Reviews Books, and was one of the first people I glommed onto when I first started blogging. Her reviews are great, I love her taste in books, her site is gorgeous, and she's just all-around nice and patient and lovely. Also, we've both sworn a solemn oath to visit next year's BEA, so maybe we'll meet after all!

Taken from her Twitter page.
4. Dot Hutchinson. Another super-nice blogger. I actually started following Dot's Scattered Pages before blogging, so that makes her extra-cool. I consider her very cool and nice as well, and I love her posts. Oh, and we share a passion for the same sports team, so that means a lot.

3. Elizabeth Wein (and Ginger Clark). I thought about listing just Ms. Wein, but you can't separate the two. Ms. Clark is like part agent, part hype-man. I'd love to see the way the two interact in real life. Oh, why did I pick Ms. Wein to begin with? Because she wrote this little book called Code Name Verity (it's only garnered like a bajillion starred reviews, including enthusiastic praise from me). She also was the first author I ever interviewed for the blog (part one and two), and was unbelievably kind and generous.

Taken from her website.
2. Robin LaFevers. All of my picks are selfish, but this pick is reeeeeeally selfish, because I'd spend my entire time with Ms. Robin trying to ferret out secrets from her next two books. Dark Triumph doesn't come out until 2013 and Dark Hope isn't out until 2014! TOO LONG! Also, Ms. Robin seems really nice and cool, and I'd like to learn more about her poison and historical research. (My review of Grave Mercy is here and my interview is here.)

Taken from her website.
1. Megan Whalen Turner. I would flat-out die. I would. I would spend my entire time inwardly hyperventilating, unable to string together even a basic sentence. Because I LOVE HER BOOKS. If I could choose to write like any person in the world, it would be MWT. Gah.

Who would YOU like to meet?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review: DEFIANCE by C.J. Redwine

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
This book appeared on my radar months ago thanks to its title and gorgeous cover. I even wrote a Wishlist Wednesday post about it and gushed for nigh on forever. Like most books that I've spent months obsessing over from afar, I was nervous that it would fail me. Some books do, you know. They just don't live up to the hype. I tried to prepare myself by reading other reviews but had to stop. I would just have to take the experience as it came.

But never fear, citizens of the web! For C.J. Redwine is the sweet yet utterly evil brain behind Defiance, and she put together a story that is now one of my favorites of the entire year.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Shelver's Confessions

Photo credit
This last Saturday, I dissected a list of confessions from a group of anonymous Borders employees in honor of the closing of Borders one year ago. I thought it would only be fair if I then turned the tables and gave a few confessions of my own.

Now I've given quite a few confessions on this blog (you can find them by looking for tags "work," "Shelver Secret" or "customer"), so I'm going to be a bit more transparent with my list. Mine is more like... confessions of an English major/bookshelver/book lover. More transparent, more inclusive. I fully expect shock and/or outrage in response to a couple. Enjoy.
Click to enlarge. Please pardon my handwriting.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #13

Totally the property of Pen to Paper
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one...except the "thing" inside her.When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no "normal" Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch....

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of "them." The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help--and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on--even if it seems no one believes her.
Steampunk! I love the idea of steampunk. I think the whole vibe of mixing machinery and Victorian elements together is just scrumptious. Sadly, I haven't read much steampunk... Actually, I don't know that I've read any at all. The Girl in the Steel Corset seems like a brilliant way to start.

Let me just say, first of all, that I'm not digging the name "Finley Jayne" (it doesn't scream 19th century England to me), but I'll give her a pass because she can knock out a man with one punch. I love that! Girls physically often have a harder time of it in life because we're weaker than guys when it comes to bulk, muscle mass, etc. Stupid testosterone. So the idea of a girl being able to go all Hulk on a full-grown man for the sake of self-defense makes me cackle maniacally.

Second, I'm always game for a band of misfits. All sorts of good things happen when a creator smacks together a bunch of jagged edged, wacked-out outcasts and makes them work together for a common purpose. Robin Hood and his gang? The Fellowship from The Lord of the Rings? The Avengers? That group of soldiers from Operation Dumbo Drop? Good stuff, people! 

This particular band of misfits sounds intriguing. I liked the idea of a girl with an attitude problem (because that's what Emily sounds like) crushing on a cyborg. My guess is said cyborg will either by shy and reclusive or moody and cynical. Either way, book gold! But the idea of an American cowboy named Jasper really sold it for me. An American in a Brit story! A COWBOY! (Really, we need more YA cowboy stories, ASAP.) I also really like the name Jasper. And not a one of them, except for the regally named Griffin King, trusts Finley.

Oh yeah, something something something about a villain who's killing people and tearing apart the group. Yup. Since the synopsis is a little vague on that point, I can't say much. But it doesn't matter.

Fighter girl, band of misfits, orphaned duke, unrequited love, cyborg, American cowboy. I'm all in.

What are you wishing for this Wednesday?